Front and Center, Through it All

I love parades and try to devote at least a part of my Thanksgiving morning to watching the parades even as I have become an adult responsible for getting the big feast cooking.  Parade watching on TV is a cherished part of my Thanksgiving rituals.  But I have noticed a change, rather at some point the way that parades are broadcast was changed and I am now aware of this result.


photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

In my childhood, the cameras focused on the floats and parade participants, the announcers providing their chatter as backdrop and occasionally coming in to view to announce a commercial break.  These days, a person is lucky to catch a glimpse of parade participants over the shoulder of the announcers as the camera focuses incessantly upon them as they bring in a continuous parade of minor celebrities and periodically mention the bothersome parade that is happening behind them.


This got me thinking about the spotlight.  Some people like to be right in the center of the glow, some can come and go, some enjoy the periphery and others want to be far off in the other direction.  Life is best when there is a variety of types, all sorting to their preferred spot.


The thing is, though, that sometimes that spotlight should swing off the person who wants to be front and center and sometimes it should illuminate that person who prefers to exist in obscurity.  Sometimes a team, an ensemble, a band, a cast should be in that light together.  Hundreds of people must come together to pull off a successful parade.  It is a display, an event that deserves attention.  Even the people who take a support role want the result of their effort to be experienced by as many viewers as possible.


I find myself moving around in my chair as if I were actual standing on the side of the street and if I adjust I might be able to see the actual main event, the parade, around the obstruction of the announcers.  Yes, I understand that these announcers are pleased with the spotlight, but this isn’t their turn.  It is the turn of the hundreds of people who started planning this parade the moment last year’s parade ended.  Possibly before.


I am frustrated that I hardly saw a moment of the parade that I turned on the TV to see, but this has really opened my eyes to all the small moments that happen every day – the things that don’t get noticed.  I want to keep this revelation front and center, to acknowledge efforts large and small.


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2 thoughts on “Front and Center, Through it All

  1. Dan Antion December 9, 2013 at 9:06 am Reply

    I think this is a trend in live broadcasting and I really wish more people would express a desire for it to stop. I noticed an increased number of interviews during major league baseball games this year, and while it is a boring sport, I always wondered “what am I missing?” The other thing that has always made me shake my head (in fact it’s in my list of blog ideas) is the people placement effort in live broadcasting. The weatherman who is broadcasting while being windblown and getting soaked and the (no offense but) frequently female sportscaster who is broadcasting from the sidelines of an NFL game – as if to say “hey we have a woman and she’s on the field” I’m not upset that they use a female, I just don’t see the value added by having the sportscaster on the field. I’d rather hear the discussion while watching the team warm-up. I guess you struck a nerve.

    • Beth Anne Reed December 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm Reply

      I hadn’t thought about this (from a broadcasting perspective) beyond my irritation over the missed parades – plus I don’t much watch sports. But you’re right about the weather people too. Suddenly these folks aren’t bringing us the news or event – they insert themselves into the event. You are so right, Dan – they aren’t bringing value to the news or event – in fact they are detracting from it.

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